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What is ASEAN?

The Philippines will be ASEAN chair when ASEAN turns 50 next year. Yet in this report by Daniel Abunales and Jake Soriano of ‘Verafiles’ for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ media fellowship programme, listen to Filipinos say of ASEAN: “I don’t know.” “It includes the US.”

China’s ‘Water Grab’ and Its Consequences

Southeast Asia’s waters are boiling with politics, tussles involving fishing boats, South China Sea disputes and dam issues in the Mekong – on top of the steaming-hot weather these days. Thitinan Pongsudhirak analyses China’s conduct in the region in this commentary in the ‘Bangkok Post’.

In Burma, A Fine Line Between CSR and Karmic Cash

What constitutes Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)? That’s the question on everyone’s lips in Burma, where the term is being interpreted differently by businesses. Kyaw Hsu Mon of ‘The Irrawaddy’ reports for the ‘CSR in the ASEAN Community’, Reporting ASEAN: 2015 and Beyond programme.

CAMBODIA: The Root of the Problem

Exporting cassava to Thailand has never been tougher for Cambodian farmers, who say Thai authorities are erecting non-tariff barriers as a protectionist measure. Does the ASEAN Economic Community’s vision of free trade work in reality? Sor Chandara of the ‘Phnom Penh Post’ reports for the ‘Making AEC Work’ series, ‘Reporting ASEAN:2015 and Beyond’ programme.

Freer Movement of Skilled Workers: Pitfalls, Positives for ASEAN

Will the greater skills mobility under the ASEAN Community be is an inclusive type of economic integration, and contribute to a reduction in income or wealth inequality? The Asian Development Bank’s Shang Wei Lin tackles the issue in this article in’ The Nation’.

Media Still Disconnected from the ASEAN Community

For too long, media communities in ASEAN have missed reporting on ASEAN’s journey to integration. But the ASEAN Community’s formation presents newsrooms with the challenge of crafting fresh routines to report on the story of integration in a region of 625 million people, argues Kavi Chongkittavorn in this commentary.

How ASEAN are Filipinos?

Separated from mainland South-east by vast oceans, the Philippines is often seen as more interested in the West than in its own neighbours. Will the ASEAN mindset grow in the Filipino psyche now that the ASEAN Community has been launched?

CSR in ASEAN: It’s About How You Make Money

CSR. That acronym causes some people’s faces to light up, but brings a sceptical frown to others’. To many, it reeks of less than genuine altruism and is little different from public relations. Today, talking about CSR touches on issues like inclusion, responsibility, transparent norms, all within the context that what’s good for a business […]

Letting the Puppets Tell an ASEAN Story

A rich mix of puppetry artists has been busy creating a joint ASEAN performance to tell a common story we can all identify with, Johanna Son reports in this Q & A. Coming soon — performance at the ASEAN Summit in Lao PDR, September 2016.

 

 

THAILAND: Firm on Protecting the Palm Oil Sector

The third largest producer of palm oil in the world, Thailand is facing domestic and international challenges in its management of the prized crop. Although oversupply, high costs and lack of competitiveness in terms of pricing are ongoing concerns, the country is adamant about protecting the sector, as Kornchanok Raksaseri of ‘Econ News’ finds out in this ‘Making AEC Work’ story, part of the ‘Reporting ASEAN:2015 and Beyond’ programme.

ASEAN Agreement On Haze? As Clear as Smoke

Amid the heated debates and discussions around this year’s haze episode in Southeast Asia, ASEAN’s agreement on transboundary haze pollution has gotten little attention – or mention. It lies all but buried in the embers of frustration of Indonesia’s neighbouring countries, reports Kanis Dursin* from Jakarta.

Five Decades On, Is ASEAN Ready to Grow Up?

Strong outside, weaker inside? ASEAN needs to address its internal contradictions before it can achieve true integration and be considered a regional powerhouse. Ahead of the ASEAN Community’s launch, Johanna Son takes a closer look at the ASEAN way in this story for ‘The Irrawaddy’ under the ‘Reporting ASEAN: 2015 and Beyond’ series.

Intra-ASEAN Physician Mobility: Less Appealing

If the ASEAN Economic Community is opening the door to medical professionals, why aren’t more doctors crossing borders for work in the region? Marlon Alexander Luistro of ‘The Filipino Connection’ finds out why in his story for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ media fellowship programme.

ASEAN Medical Sector Feels Birth Pains of Regional Integration

Doctors from ASEAN countries should be able to move and work much more easily under the ASEAN Economic Community. But the devil, as always, is in the detail. The mobility of medical professionals faces challenges in mutual recognition agreements, language barriers, licensing exams, and hesitance to accept foreign doctors, reports Marlon Alexander Luistro of The Filipino Connection in his story for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ media fellowship programme.

Healthcare Within Borders

Indonesian doctors are undecided if the freer movement of skilled medical practitioners across Southeast Asia, as part of the ASEAN Economic Community’s plans, will be a bane or boon for them and their patients. Amanda Siddharta of ‘Tempo’ magazine looks at the possible impact on the country’s healthcare system in her story for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ media fellowship programme.

Including Low-skilled Workers into ASEAN’s Labour Framework

Intra-ASEAN labour migration has increased fourfold since 1990 to 6.5 million in 2013. The majority consists of semi-skilled and unskilled workers, but they are little seen in ASEAN’s integration plans. What safeguards have ASEAN put in place to protect them? Not much, as Saifulbahri Ismail of Channel NewsAsia finds out in his story for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ media fellowship programme.

How Will MRAs Affect the Mobility of Professionals?

The freer flow of professional talent across the region is one of the key goals of the ASEAN Economic Community. But can the increased mobility of selected professionals actually be achieved? Saifulbahri Ismail of Channel NewsAsia looks into the challenges of liberalising jobs in his story for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ media fellowship programme.

Hue: ASEAN’s City of Culture

Hue, the former capital of Vietnam, was chosen as ASEAN’s third City of Culture for 2014-2015. Duong Thi Mong Thu of Vietnam Television takes a look at how the city keeps its heritage alive for residents, while showcasing it to the world in her story for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ media fellowship programme.

In ASEAN, Women Empowerment Low on Priority List

Will the rights of women and children ever be a priority in ASEAN? Not likely, according to civil societies who believe political and economic concerns will always be addressed before socio-cultural issues. Natashya Gutierrez of Rappler reports for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ media fellowship programme.

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